For the first time ever, Israel's most successful international acts, Noa and Mayumana, will perform together at the Euroleague title game on May 1. The game and the performance will be broadcast to 36 countries around the globe. With a strong following both inside and outside of Israel, Noa and Mayumana appeal to a diverse audience, while capturing the hearts of their most devoted fans. After successful tours in Europe, Noa and Mayumana will return to Israel specifically for their much-anticipated performance before the final game of the Euroleague Final Four. "We were lucky to have both groups available for the show," said Abi Martin, Euroleague marketing department representative. "When Noa and Mayumana both agreed to perform, we were all ecstatic. This will be a once in a lifetime event."
Noa, known in Israel by her birth name Achinoam Nini, is Israel's premiere, world-renown recording artist. Born in Tel Aviv in 1969, with family ties to Yemen, Noa lived in New York City from the age of two until her return to Israel at the age of 17. After serving the mandatory two years in the Israeli Army in a military entertainment unit, Noa studied music at the Rimon School where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor. Having worked with the likes of Pat Metheny, Michael Hedges and Rupert Hine, the two musicians have enjoyed critical acclaim for the seven albums they have released.
With influences from Noa's Yemeni roots and Gil Dor's background in jazz, their unique sound is reminiscent of folk artists like Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, with a touch of Leonard Cohen mixed in. Since their first collaboration in 1990, they have played hundreds of concerts around the world, in diverse venues such as Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, the Olympia in Paris, Zellerbach Auditorium in San Francisco, the Montreaux Jazz Festival and the WOMAD festival in Spain. Noa was the first Israeli artist to be formally invited to perform in Morocco, and was honored with the "Crystal Award" by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where she performed together with Palestinian artists and participated in numerous panels dealing with peace in the Middle East and the role of art and artists in making it a reality.
Mayumana comes from the Hebrew word "meyumanut", which means ability or skill. "In the beginning," recalls Boaz Berman, one of the founders, "we liked the name for the sound, and later we saw that it justified the show that we wanted to present, and that it's based precisely in the ability of the interpreters." Mr. Berman, who since childhood spent time beating household instruments, studied African-American percussion in New York.
When he and co-founder Eylon Nuphar - a specialist in ambient music, photography, cinematography and belly-dancing - decided to create Mayumana they held auditions for more than 2,500 candidates. "We were searching for mischief with a little bit of madness, together with a fundamental rhythm." For more than a year and a half the company developed the repertoire, during which time the dancers had to become musicians, and the percussionists became actors, while all of them transformed themselves into artists pertinent to the group. The result is a unique and different show, that uses a new stage language in which humor and rhythm are the main ingredients.
Currently, Mayumana has four groups working around the world with more than 60 artists distributed in three stable companies formed with artists from diverse nations: Brasil, USA, Spain, Switzerland, Curacao, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Holland, France, Chile, Germany, Peru, Venezuela, England, Panama, Italy and Israel.